The Partners for Rural Transformation (PRT) is eager to share a comment to the Office of Management and Budget regarding Guidance for Grants and Agreements. We thank the OMB for welcoming public input.
PRT acknowledges the many gaps in outcomes for regions of persistent poverty. The consequences of our nation’s history played a major role and still manifest in these areas today. PRT Partners in these regions have spent decades building trust and partnership within the communities they live in and serve, creating a stronger network of resources across regions. With there being less access to philanthropic and bank-borrowed capital flowing to rural-serving CDFIs, PRT saw the importance of sharing our voice on federal grant guidance. Federal dollars are a critical funding mechanism for rural America and our most distressed communities, which are majority communities of color, Native, and/or rural.
PRT urges OMB to consider the following recommendations:
- Ensuring better alignment between grant guidance and underlying statutes,
- Increasing audit and technology thresholds (with the condition that the audit is made public to increase transparency),
- Increasing flexibility in administrative costs, requirements, and capacity through the implementation of the 10-20-30 rule and codifying of Justice40 across all federal agencies,
- Improved flexibility in allocated completion time to disperse federal awards guaranteeing adequate time to use funds to persistently poor communities,
- Establishing a uniform application for funding to better accessibility and usability,
- Waiving funding matches for disadvantaged communities, and where a waiver is not possible, adding a flexible definition of cash match,
- More data and data transparency through a Rural Impact Analysis; and,
- Increasing access to capital through re-drafting applications and NOFOs with plain language.
Read the full comment on PRT’s recommendations on helping rural and Native communities experiencing persistent poverty equitably access capital.